Man on Wire
On August 7th 1974, a young Frenchman named Philippe Petit stepped out on a wire and illegally rigged between the New York’s twin towers. After nearly an hour dancing on the wire, he was arrested, taken for psychological evaluation, and brought to jail before he was finally released. This documentary complies Petit’s footage to show the numerous extraordinary challenges he faced in completing the artistic crime of the century.
Those interviews of middle-aged daredevils, reminiscing about their greatest caper, were as intense for me as the dodgy accomplishment of the adventure. It was literally the end of a love affair with life for all of them, something "too hot not to cool down," an overture too overwhelming to be followed by a mere opera. When Petit’s boyhood friend broke down in tears at the waning of their friendship, when Petit’s wife-the-love-of-his-life felt the reality that his life no longer needed hers, the whole social cost of Petit’s obsession moved me also almost to tears. Hey, I might have cried if my heart had slowed down to twice normal. I felt an urge to grab my son and hug or shake him, saying "don’t let your art be more to you than your life."
- Giordano Bruno
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I think the most fascinating aspect about this story, was the lengths that Petit and his co-conspirators went to plan, train, and carry out this unauthorized feat. It’s all here in vivid detail. And even if you didn’t bother to read the text in this book, the photographs are amazing and breathtaking by themselves. This is a captivating memoir that captures the excitement, triumph, and joy of Petit’s stunning achievement. Now that the towers are, sadly, gone, it’s all the more important as a part of the towers history. I more than enjoyed this memoir, I was fascinated by it. It is certainly a positive and enlightening ray of hope for those who dream of the impossible!
- Joe Hanssen